Oh, February, the month of love. People are getting engaged, buying boxes of chocolates, shoving large, fluffy stuffed animals in their trunks... or making jokes about how they are single. That's me. Anyway...
We try to confine love to a Hallmark card- nice and tight. It is safely sealed inside, but when in reality love is wild and dangerous.
When I think about love I first think of God's love for me. How extravagant, how vast, how strong, how unstoppable is this love for me. He chases me down and pursues me. That is love to me. Then I start thinking about our earthly view love. What does look like among us here as we serve one another and try to make the world as a whole feel loved? What makes others feel loved? What first comes to mind when people hear the word "love"? I took a survey on my social media and these are the responses I got...
Effort and sacrifice. It was made by our savior when he died on the cross for us. However. this can be applied in a relationship with other person.
When you love somebody, you do everything that you can for to show his/her how much important is for you. This require a lot of effort and sacrifice.
Love is Jesus dying on the cross for me and never giving up on me even when I don't do the best job in my relationship with him
I've been learning a LOT lately how love is about sacrifice. Sometimes, especially in romantic relationships, love is letting a person go — not because you don't want them, but because you know you're not good for each other. It's not when you push them away because you don't want them anymore, but it's when that person is ALL you want and you have to forcibly remove your white-knuckle grip on their lives so that they, and you, have a shot at something actually good and healthy and life-giving instead of life-draining. Basically, it's putting the person-you-love's needs above your own, but that phrase gets thrown around so much that it's sometimes hard to remember what that kind of reality looks like! Love comes in many shapes and sizes, but I don't think there's any really long-lasting, true love without some kind of sacrifice.
I feel most loved when someone does something unexpected. Something that took a lot of thought. Meaning they paid attention to me and fulfilled a want or need because they wanted me to be happy.
I love to show love by doing the same thing. Surprising people with items or acts of kindness for no specific reason other than I want them to feel special.
Look up the word Ahava in Hebrew: The root word of ahava is hav, which means to give. In other words, loving is synonymous with giving.
In conclusion I think what I learned from these responses is there are so many different ways that people can feel loved or give away love. It doesn't have to be put in a neat little envelope and sealed away. It can be messy and it can hurt, but sometimes we just have to let it. Love is constantly growing us through joy and through pain. Love isn't always romance because sometimes it means learning how to love yourself a little more. Love can also be thinking of yourself less and others more. God — love himself — has given us so many different forms of love to feel and to give in order to love him more but to also love people well. So this Valentine's Day may we learn that love is a lot of different things to a lot of different people. We cannot contain it, we don't have to confine it, we can just let it be, because when we love we become better and that helps the world see that Love Himself gave everything He had away so that we might know Him.